The Van Wert County Courthouse

Friday, Mar. 1, 2024

Local highway safety plans announced

SCOTT TRUXELL/independent editor

One of the most dangerous intersections in Van Wert County is now slated for a roundabout.

According to a joint press release from Ohio Department of Transportation Director Jack Marchbanks and Governor Mike DeWine, a roundabout will be constructed at the intersection of Ohio 118 and Wren Landeck Road in Liberty Township. The project is expected to cost $3.67 million and construction is scheduled for fiscal year 2029.

An ODOT-installed roundabout at the intersection of Ohio 118 and Wren Landeck Road should reduce crashes like this one. Bob Barnes/file photo

The roundabout will be the third in Van Wert County. The first one opened in August of 2022 at U.S. 224/127/Marsh Road. The second roundabout, at the intersection of Lincoln Highway and U.S. 224, is already scheduled for construction in 2027.

“When we introduce roundabouts for the first time, folks are generally skeptical,” Marchbanks said. “However, as time goes by, they see the benefits of safety and improved traffic flow.”

As of October of this year, 298 people were killed in crashes at intersections throughout Ohio. Studies by the Federal Highway Administration show that roundabouts reduce overall crashes by 44 percent and serious injury and deadly crashes by nearly 90 percent at two-way stop intersections. When roundabouts replace a traffic signal, studies show a 48 percent reduction in crashes and a nearly 80 percent drop in serious injury and deadly crashes.

Two other construction projects are scheduled in the coming years in Van Wert County, both along U.S. 30. An overpass will be constructed at U.S. 30 and Convoy Road in Union Township in fiscal year 2029 for $4 million. The project is part of ODOT’s long range plan to close at-grade intersections along U.S. 30.

The third project is scheduled for fiscal year 2028 at the intersection of U.S. 30 and John Brown Road, just outside the Van Wert city limits. ODOT plans to construct a Reduced Collision U-Turn (RCUT) intersection at a cost of $3.26 million. These non-traditional intersections allow for more efficient movement of traffic, reducing the number and severity of crashes.

In addition to those projects, a roundabout will be constructed at the intersection of Bluelick Road and Ohio 65 in Allen County. That project is scheduled for fiscal year 2028 at a cost of $3.7 million.

The plans are part of 25 projects in 19 counties between state fiscal years 2024-2029. The total cost is $73.8 million.

POSTED: 12/06/23 at 4:39 am. FILED UNDER: News